Superintendent Mike Walker is leading North Yorkshire Police’s response to the Coronavirus and he also chairs the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Partnership.

These are his comments about the past week’s Covid-19 related issues including the Easter weekend…

Whilst the long bank holiday weekend was busy throughout the area, there was very little in way of police incidents or issues linked to Covid-19.

We only had to issue 11 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) during this period. All were for indoor gathering breaches, of which 10 occurred in Scarborough.

In total since the easing of the lockdown on 29 March, 14 FPNs have been issued. No incidents of note have been flagged-up during the past week.

It is pleasing that the rightfully careful and cautious Step 1 of the Government’s Road Map Out of Lockdown has gone well in our area.

This is testament to the outstanding partnership working we have in North Yorkshire and the City of York, plus the invaluable support from our communities who have experienced the collective effort to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

As we move to Step 2 of the road map on Monday 12 April, it is now more important than ever to keep following the health protection measures while the vaccination programme is rolled out.

There is still no mixing of households allowed indoors until at least 17 May under Step 3, and the ‘rule of 6’ or two households remains in place regarding outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens.

Our policing teams will be promoting adherence to these rules while on targeted and highly visible patrols.

We will continue to use our ‘4 Es’ approach to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce only as a last resort when a blatant breach has occurred.

Officers and PCSOs will also be on hand to support our local authority, trading standards and licensing partners during checks on businesses such as pubs and restaurants, who be able to provide outdoor hospitality from 12 April.

This is clearly very welcome progress from the extremely worrying situation we faced just a few short months ago.

Our message to everyone is to keep up this amazing effort. Please keep doing all you can to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 or unwittingly spreading the virus to others.